Amplifying Farmer Voices: The Importance of Representing CFFO in Agriculture

March 8, 2024 | Mackenna Roth | Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario

Amplifying Farmer Voices: The Importance of Representing CFFO in Agriculture

In the dynamic landscape of Ontario agriculture, the voice of every farmer matters. It's not just about tilling the land or raising livestock; it's about actively participating in shaping policies, influencing decisions, and securing a prosperous future for farm businesses. At the heart of this endeavor lies the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO), an organization dedicated to amplifying the voices of its members and advocating for their interests across the province, with a Christian perspective brought to the table. 

One of the key pillars of CFFO's mission is visibility at crucial junctures within the agricultural community. This visibility is achieved through active representation at key farm shows, agricultural events, industry meetings, and stakeholder discussions. These platforms serve as vital arenas where the voices of farmer members are not only heard but also valued.

This was recently demonstrated all in one day, Thursday March 7, 2024! CFFO was present at 4 events at one time, all contributing and representing the voice of the CFFO. The staff and board are eager to listen, and keen to understand the challenges faced by farmers and the policies impacting their businesses.

First we will start in Southern Ontario, at the 84th London Farm Show, where Jackie Rombouts, Member Relations, meet with many farmers and key industry contacts, sharing the work CFFO does on behalf of its members, but also highlighting the benefits of choosing the CFFO to potential new members. Also at this show, Tom Tavani, CFFO GM, presented Henry Reinders, Ontario Representative for Canadian FoodGrains Bank, a $5,000 cheque for the 2023 winter matching donation campaign. 

As we move down the 401, we had Central Ontario board representatives, Sandy and Ted Kursis, CFFO Executive Board Director, Henk Vaarkamp (Haldimand-Norfolk District) and CFFO partner, Caldwell Securities attended the 2024 Toronto Prayer Breakfast. An event where local Christians are brought together to pray for our leaders and our community, as a public expression of our Christian love and faith. 2024 will mark the Breakfast’s 30th Anniversary! Our partners Caldwell Securities invited CFFO and guests of the organization to attended. It was a moving event.

Toronto was a busy place on Thursday as CFFO president Ed Scharringa, was attending meetings at Queen's Park on behalf of the organization. It is so important that the CFFO is where policies are shaped and decisions made, so we ensure that the farmer's voice resonates in diverse spheres.

Continue east, Paul Bootsma, Member Relations, attended the East Central Farm Show, in Lindsay Ontario. This is a well attend show and an excellent way to network with our eastern members. It was great to have CFFO working together as a team, being in many places at one time, with one voice, supporting your farm business.

Partnerships play a pivotal role in amplifying CFFO's impact. Collaborations with district boards, members, and partners provide the necessary support to bring farmer concerns to the forefront of discussions on agricultural preservation and innovation. For instance, the partnership with Caldwell Securities not only expands CFFO's reach but also fosters a sense of community and shared purpose.

It is truly amazing when CFFO members work together as a cohesive team, speaking with one voice to support farm businesses and advocate for their interests.

Ultimately, the call to action is clear: farmers must actively engage, attend local meetings, and contribute their opinions to shape the future of Ontario agriculture. Each voice matters, and through collective action and representation, CFFO ensures that the farmer's voice is not just heard but heeded.

Being a representative of CFFO in all areas of agriculture is not just a responsibility; it's a privilege and an opportunity to make a meaningful impact. Together, let's amplify farmer voices, shape policies, and build a resilient and thriving agricultural community for generations to come.

Mackenna Roth is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy.